Memory bank

Things my bank expects me to remember when using their machines/online banking facilities:

  1. Account No
  2. Sort Code
  3. Bank card PIN
  4. Internet Banking ID
  5. Internet Banking Password
  6. Answer to ridiculously obscure security question 1
  7. Answer to ridiculously obscure security question 2
  8. Answer to ridiculously obscure security question 3
  9. Answer to ridiculously obscure security question 4
  10. Special Visa password for purchasing stuff online
  11. Mobile app password
  12. Security key fob PIN
  13. Where I put the bloody security key fob.

And I mustn't write any of these things down anywhere, because that wouldn't be secure.

But it's OK, because they've now simplified matters by allowing me (or anyone else in possession of my card) to buy stuff simply by waving my card at some detector by the checkout.

Richard Carter

A fat, bearded chap with a Charles Darwin fixation.


  1. Not quite true: 1 and 2 are printed on every cheque you have and then give to a stranger. They are also embossed on your debit card.
    Number 10 is the most infuriating and impossible to remember. It's also the subject of numerous peer-reviewed articles which have shown that this system is in fact hopelessly broken and insecure, whatever the banks may tell you otherwise.

  2. Also, we know that in this case at least one of 6, 7, 8 or 9 is "Charles Darwin". If not all of them.

  3. Unfortunately, I didn't get to pose my own ridiculously obscure security questions, and ‘Charles Darwin’ wasn't the correct answer to any of those provided. I suppose I could have taken and adapted a leaf from the infamous 1975 Manchester University Challenge team's book and answered every question ‘Charles Darwin’, but the thought never occurred to me at the time. One to file away for potential future misuse, perhaps.

  4. My bank always asks me about cash withdrawals - how much did you withdraw from the cashpoint you use 5 times a week on this date three months ago? How the hell is anyone supposed to remember that?

    This need to memorise banking trivia has got so bad that my wife will only withdraw the same set amount of money, whatever the amount she actually needs, so that she has the answer to their question irrespective of which actual withdrawal event they are talking about.

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